Football - Bruce encouraged by unfancied challengers

Steve Bruce believes Hull are leading the charge of the dark horses as the npower Championship promotion race hots up.

PA Sport

The Tigers recorded a 2-0 victory over Blackburn on Tuesday night - their third triumph at the KC Stadium in eight days - to ensure they took maximum advantage of leaders Cardiff's surprise defeat to Brighton.

Bruce's second-placed side trimmed the Bluebirds' lead to five points but Watford and Crystal Palace, the teams directly below Hull, also recorded victories to keep things tight at the top.

"There's going to be many twists and turns," Bruce admitted.

"It's amazing - a couple of weeks ago we were six (points) adrift of Leicester and all of a sudden we're nine points clear of them, and with them not playing and them (Cardiff) losing.

"Palace and Watford are on terrific runs and I think it's quite refreshing for the league.

"Nobody really fancied Palace, Watford and ourselves."

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